I left a facebook quilt group.
Shocked? I was, because quilters are in that group. I love helping quilters, and will do so as much as I can. I’ve been online as a quilter since rec.crafts.textiles.quilting days wanting, needing to be part of a group of other quilters. Quilters, for the most part are kind, sharing, giving, however there are moments when it just doesn’t happen. And it can get pretty dang ugly. Back on rctq the moderators would jump in with reminders, (which worked fairly often) or put the kibosh on the whole thing.
I got called out for making a quick comment, one that wasn’t intended to be terse, snarky (I do love me some snark) demeaning in anyway, mean, it was simply quick – the reply came swiftly that the comment was not appreciated. I apologized, deleted the comment, with a deep sigh of relief, left the group. For some reason this particular group wore me down, wore me out and this comment was my “excuse” to leave the group.
It’s hard to leave a group because of the the sense of community, the sense of belonging, the sense of sameness and the differentness that is character, builds character, that offers opportunity to teach, grow, listen, learn, become. The Quilting Community is a microcosm of the world in general it’s full of new quilters, old quilters, art quilters, traditional quilters, political quilters, religious quilters, avant garde quilters, modern quilters, quilters who play by the “rules”*, quilters who make up their own rules, quilters who ask questions, this quilter, that quilter, in other words it’s full of people. And this quilter loves each of them to the best of her ability and will patiently listen, nurture, be nurtured, and sometimes be cast aside, cast aside, join or leave a group. Sometimes things are simply beyond my ability.
*rules this is a complex conversation that I’ll have over on the other blog
Community is essential. Being part of a community is essential for our growth, and survival. We are born into a community. Jesus models this clearly in the gathering of a community choosing the Apostles, and speaking to people, healing them, calling them to deeper holiness, calling them to more, calling them out, calling them to be more. His first recorded miracle, water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana, is in the context of a communal event a wedding feast. What an incredible gift.
My Sweetie is that guy who is very loving, and incredibly honest. I have been experiencing a deep sense of unsettled, unrest, and discontent. I cling to him at the end of the day telling him, pleading with him to pray for me. I know he does, however hearing the words, while enveloped in his arms it seems, well, real. Thankfully I’m not driving him around the bend. At least not much.
While attending an Engaged Encounter Weekend about six weeks before we married, one of the couples leading reminded us of that fact that we, as the newly joined couple, are the newly formed Family. A new community in need of nurturing and growing. How this family grows is ultimately up to God whether that is through adding children, or caring for the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of others. We, as a couple, nurture each other though love, sacrifice, caring, giving, receiving, enjoying, being enjoyed.
This need/desire for community, the need for support, to support, encourage, was brought to mind when someone posted about the mommy drinking culture, and another person wanted an opt out quiz someplace else. The opt out quiz startled me, totally shocked me as the one thing this person was looking for is a deeper sense of community, to belong to a community and the opt in-participate-be part of the community-meet others in the same life place is the place where the opt out quiz is desired.
In reading the piece on the mommy drinking culture the thing that was made most clear to me is the need for, desire for, the longing for community. The need for support and encouragement. This mom, this woman needs the support of a community to nurture her, support her in her motherhood, to show her she’s not alone. YES this is a lot more complex than the need for community however it’s a good start. There is a deep longing on my part to truly belong at my local parish, to participate in the community there. What’s stopping me? Frankly it’s me. Okay it’s a little more complicated than that. I know that in order to belong I need to put the effort out there to belong to that particular community.
Whether it’s quilting or the local parish/church community I need to put in some effort. That’s essential. And its essential to know when to leave a community. Don’t worry, my relationship with my Sweetie is safe. Walking away from that quilt community was just the right thing to do – I didn’t belong there. Joining other communities will do as time permits. Because Community is necessary.